I decided my first interview post to be about Lotty Gunning, as she was the first person I spoke to about their brand, although not the first person I interviewed.
I got quite a clear understanding for her brand concept, as everything she said was revolving around the idea of sustainability and comfort in the busy modern life.
Firstly, by naming her brand ‘Hemera’ after the Greek goddess of light, she implies that her customers are female. That is also where the idea of comfort and simplifying daily life pops up. As a sustainable cycling company for women, Hemera is created to serve as a balance point between the busy everyday life and the enjoyment of cycling, regardless of whether it would be a way of commuting or just for pleasure.
Charlotte also sees her company as a ”seamless transition from travel to normal life’, a way to establish harmony in busy environments, by creating both practical and stylish clothing.
Her three design cues are Purpose, Practical and Compatible. Purpose she sees as the essence of life and clothing as well and draws a parallel between human existence and clothing production, as the absence of purpose would eventually lead to discarding in both cases. Lotty sees the word Practical in sense of being realistic and useful, which I feel brings out pretty much the same idea as Purpose. The last design cue, Compatible, means in harmony, which, I think, is actually the main idea behind the concept of a brand for busy women.
In fact, that is exactly the right description for her customers – busy women, either working or in education, aged 25 to 40, who are conscious about the way they look while cycling and in their everyday life in general. The consumers she is aiming at are all looking for solutions, simplicity and easy transitions, as well as durability, sustainability, safety, style and compatibility, however, they are all from different backgrounds and of different age, that is why she has developed a range of budgets. This means there are fair price garments – simpler, lower priced, for younger customers and higher priced more technical garments for older customers.
The whole idea of cycling is implying environmental consciousness, as commuting by bike is thought to be eco friendly. She is therefore developing a sustainable concept, which would include recycled fabrics, sustainable organic natural fiber blends, environmentally friendly fabric treatments and finishes.
Another important feature about her brand is the idea of easy transition between commuting and busy everyday life, which is expressed in different details and I can really see Lotty is paying close attention to little things and her brand is all about simplicity. Details she mentioned include reflective seams and binding, reflective pieces on sleeves and back of hood (binding in hood seams), reflective fabric incorporated into the patterns of the fabric that are not so noticeable during the day and it just looks like a nice pattern on the fabric then at night it reflects light, which makes it safe and stylish and not too noticeable as everyday wear – in other words multi functional.
I also see as important the fact that she identifies with her brand by trying to find solutions to the problems she personally has had as a cycling woman. In terms of inspiration, she keeps things simple too – she draws ideas from everyday life, photography, light and the way it changes (and therefore the name of the brand), comfort and simplicity in today’s busy environment.